Bereft of big ideas?

From the ‘pretty much everyone agrees that National Curriculum is a good idea’ lovefest on the 7l30 Report last night I thought I must be the only living person in NY who still has big question marks about the ideas. So, I was pleased to see this piece in the AGE today from Libby Tudball, which summarised some of the problems I  have with it.

It begins:

Australia needs an innovative, world-class approach to school curriculum, but it is clear from the ”back to basics” national curriculum draft that we have a long way to go yet. While maths, science, history and English – the disciplines the draft gives priority to – are all critically important, they do not cover many areas of significance for 21st-century learners.
Curriculum must pay attention to questions and issues that confront the world today, such as climate change, economic issues, refugees, social dislocation among young people, and the challenges of a technology-driven world.
Yes, we want students who are knowledgeable in maths, science, history and English, but we must recognise that some of the most important knowledge will not fall neatly into these disciplines – politics, multiculturalism, water shortages, increasing violence and under-age drinking are vital concerns in their lives.
Students need to develop the knowledge and skills to be active and informed citizens who know how to think critically, and how to respond to contemporary issues; a narrowly focused curriculum will not do this.
That is why teachers nationwide are expressing strong concerns about what is being launched as the new ”world-class Australian national curriculum”.

Australia needs an innovative, world-class approach to school curriculum, but it is clear from the ”back to basics” national curriculum draft that we have a long way to go yet. While maths, science, history and English – the disciplines the draft gives priority to – are all critically important, they do not cover many areas of significance for 21st-century learners.
Curriculum must pay attention to questions and issues that confront the world today, such as climate change, economic issues, refugees, social dislocation among young people, and the challenges of a technology-driven world.
Yes, we want students who are knowledgeable in maths, science, history and English, but we must recognise that some of the most important knowledge will not fall neatly into these disciplines – politics, multiculturalism, water shortages, increasing violence and under-age drinking are vital concerns in their lives.
Students need to develop the knowledge and skills to be active and informed citizens who know how to think critically, and how to respond to contemporary issues; a narrowly focused curriculum will not do this.
That is why teachers nationwide are expressing strong concerns about what is being launched as the new ”world-class Australian national curriculum”.

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